For someone whose work is so bold and statement-y, Nasimiyu Wekesa couldn't be happier, peppier or more bursting with love. The charming jewelry designer, a native of Kenya who has hung her hat in Marin County for the last 12 years, was in town yesterday for a trunk show and cocktail party at Urban Zen. There, draped across rough-hewn tables and sprinkled among the store's rich-hippie duds were Wekesa's wares—multi-strand beauties pieced together by hand from African trade and ceremonial beads. Though her sales have been largely word of mouth—and she rarely makes the trek to New York—Wekesa has a sizeable following in the area. In fact, several collectors were milling about the store just waiting for a chance to chat with the crafty lady. Also the founder of Born to Aid, a five-year-old foundation that aids needy children in the villages of the Bugoma district of western Kenya, Wekesa finds beading relaxing. "It's like therapy for me," she says.
Courtesy of W Magazine. By Dana Wood May 22, 2008